Quick, what did Marco Rubio say about ISIS at the Republican presidential debate? What did Ted Cruz say about the national debt? Do you remember what John Kasich said about jobs?
Don’t feel bad. Neither do I – and I was covering the debate. I don’t even remember if they were asked about ISIS and the national debt and jobs.
But we all remember what Donald Trump said about the size of his penis.
Of course this is just the latest unfortunate remark that won’t hurt Trump among his admirers. Never mind that here’s a man running for President of the United States of America saying the kinds of things that a lot of guys won’t even say in a barroom after a few beers. Never mind that he not only said it on national television, but said it during a presidential debate. And never mind, too, that some grownups were watching in with their children. Imagine a 12-year old girl asking her father, “What’s he talking about?”
By now we know all we need to know about Trump’s loyal band of followers – about how angry they are; about how alienated they are; about how dispossessed they are; about how they want to blow up Washington; about how they want a strongman who’ll clean out the stables; about blah blah blah blah blah.
They’re not the ones who leave me baffled. It’s the media people on radio and television who make very good livings being conservative – 100 percent of the time. The conservative radio and TV rulebook says very clearly that they can’t ever take a liberal position on anything. Nuance is not part of their vocabulary or their thought process. You know who these people are.
I have said before that Donald Trump has a knack for making his most ardent supporters – especially those in conservative broadcast media – look foolish.
These are the people who talk about how crummy our culture has become, about how crude and vulgar it is, about how much they care about the children. But Trump talking about his penis, to many of them, is nothing more than a harmless joke. Hey, if Trump’s crudity doesn’t bother lots and lots of evangelicals, why should it bother radio and TV talk show hosts?
(If it matters, and to head off accusations that I might be a prude, you should know that I speak bad language — fluently. And I have an extensive file of off-color jokes packed away in my head. But I don’t tell dirty jokes to strangers and I sure as hell don’t tell them on national television. And … I’m not running for president!)
But how can these hosts either out and out support Donald Trump or at absolute least cover for him after he says that Bush lied to get us into a war in Iraq in which thousands of Americans died and many more were grievously wounded?
That’s not a rhetorical question. How can they support such a man if they’re really conservative? These same people have spent hours bashing crazy liberals who have said “Bush lied; people died.” But Donald says it and they continue to embrace him.
How can they embrace a man who mocked an American POW – a man who said John McCain was not “a war hero;” that “He’s a war hero because he was captured;” that “I like people that weren’t captured.”
Shouldn’t that have been enough for any real conservative to disavow Donald Trump?
The answer obviously is no. And the reason is simple. Here’s another rule in the conservative media rulebook: If a liberal hates someone (like Donald Trump), you must embrace him. If a liberal loves someone, you must detest him.
Too many of these media stars have fallen madly in love with Trump. And they are slobbering all over him and not holding him accountable in the very same way that liberals in the media slobbered over Barack Obama and didn’t hold him accountable.
Yes, Donald Trump has a knack for making his most ardent fans look foolish, especially the ones who make a living in the broadcast business supposedly being conservative.